Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thar she blows...

If I had a blog category called "Life is what happens when you're making other plans", the weather-related results of the past few days would fit nicely under it.

First we had torrential rain and high winds:
I'm half tempted to make this photo into the new blog frontispiece, it's just so.... random.
And then we had torrential wind and high rains:
That red dot at photo center is our recycle rolly-cart about which I blogged previously.  It's 250 feet west of where we left it the night before.
Upon seeing both of our trash receptacles all the way down at the next street intersection, I had to wonder... did the rain really do that, or was someone engaging in mischief?! 

Our security cameras told the tale:
All is normal as of about 3:00 a.m. 
One trash and one recycle can are where they need to be (my husband put out the recycle can last night by accident... recyclables are only collected on Wednesdays).
Uh-oh.  The recycle can bites the dust, and you can see that the trash can has moved its position, although it's still upright.
Trash and recycle cans are now on the lam.  Given the torrential rain, the camera image is a bit fuzzy so this is difficult to see, but by this time, the entire street was under water.
Recycle can now has a sizeable lead...
Going, going, going, gone...
...only to be followed by the larger 96-gallon trash can.
So yeah, that's how bad the street flooding was.  The thing you have to remember is that both cans were full of trash and recyclables.  They were heavy.  And still, the extent of the street flooding was able to sweep them away like that.  That's a lotta lotta watta. 

And we here in Section 9 never got our electricity back until 10:00 a.m. this morning.  I think it was off for about seven hours.

Point of wisdom from Centerpointe's original developer - I remember him saying this during one of the previous POA meetings:  Don't ever allow anything to plug any of the inlet grates in Centerpointe.  This is a fairly new subdivision and generally speaking, it was hydraulically engineered to handle the kind of rain we had last night - about five inches in just a few hours.  However, if any of the grates were ever to get plugged, flooding could result.  I can't find a good URL for this, but a few years ago, part of the South Loop flooded significantly and it appeared to have occurred largely because a major inlet got plugged by cardboard boxes.  It looked as if perhaps some of the local businesses had stacked some cardboard in their yards, and it got swept away by rains.  The blockage resulted in a massive mess with many cars and buildings being put under water.  So watch out for front-yard lawn furniture, childrens toys, recyled cardboard and other materials set out for pickup, etc. that could mobilize in a heavy storm and cause the same type of water back-up here.

To further underscore the importance of good subdivision drainage, let me share a bit of additional information and history here. 

Back in April 2009, before we decided to build in Centerpointe, we were house-shopping in a different League City neighborhood and got caught in a rainstorm of similar intensity to the one that occurred on Friday.  This photo shows the unhappy result:
There's our intrepid real estate agent standing next to the "For Sale" sign of the house we were viewing that afternoon.  You can see that those two cars parked across the street are toast; water has gotten into their engines.  Fortunately, we had pulled our vehicle into the sellers' driveway for the showing, and so it did not get flooded out.
Not only did numerous houses and cars get flooded in this event, we got stuck inside the house we were viewing FOR SIX HOURS!!  We basically had to phone up the sellers and tell them that we were literally trapped inside their house and had to remain there for the rest of the day.  We kicked off our shoes, flopped on their couch and watched their TV for the duration; there was nothing else we could do. 

I'm not going to identify the subdivision where this atrocity occurred (it wasn't Centerpointe), but the maker of this YouTube video below identifies it. 

Moral of the story once again: Don't ever let anything interfere with subdivision drainage.  I don't know what caused the problem shown here, but clearly, something was a massive problem. 

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